Sunday, September 8, 2013

The National Atomic Testing Museum - another interesting place in Las Vegas

Located at 755 East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, this museum covers the history and repercussions of the atomic age through multi-media, models and displays.  Like many other museums - admission is charged and there is a gift shop....but we learned a lot more about America's nuclear program here than we ever learned in school.   This museum is associated with the Smithsonian Institution.  There is an introductory video showing the reasons America pursued the atomic bomb and nuclear program after WWII.   The Atomic Age gallery includes how atomic themed ideas infiltrated education and popular culture with a detailed timeline correlating world/popular culture to nuclear testing events.

Ground Zero Theater is a multi-sensory experience that simulates an above ground test.  This may be frightening to children (and maybe some adults!).  There are displays about how the use of nuclear test sites have changed over time and how scientists found other ways to utilize them.

Interactive displays explain the challenges of nuclear waste and show the prevalence of natural radiation in the environment.  There are galleries about the human history of the Nevada test site and stories from people who worked there. 

There is an temporary exhibit hall which during the time of our visit was themed 'Area 51: Myth or Reality'.  This museum shows how the nuclear age has impacted us all and how it continues to be part of our lives.

If you enjoy science - this is well worth a visit while in Las Vegas!